(WGEM) - Millions in cash, jewelry, and other property could be yours in the state of Illinois.
Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says he wants to help you get it back. In just over 425 calls received to the WGEM phone bank Wednesday, 85 people were able to find unclaimed items or money.
Paula Wise was one of those that found money through the Illinois State Treasurer's Office. She had $97.86 waiting in royalties from a book publisher.
"I had no idea," Wise said. "I looked under 'Wise", but also my maiden name, 'Sachs.' When I looked at 'Sachs', they had my scrubbed my middle name and married name together. That's why it never came up. I had no idea it was ever there."
Wise said she had to fill out some quick paperwork and have it notorized, but felt the process wasn't difficult.
Her advice for those searching for cash? Use every variation of your name, including common misspellings.
"Use your maiden name, last name, middle initial, a different spelling in case there's a letter missing. Any of those could be it," Wise said.
Others in the Tri-States have claimed as much as $800 recently from the program, according to the Illinois State Treasurer's Office.
What could be out there waiting for you to claim? Maybe you have an inheritance you don't know about? Maybe a tax refund never made it to your bank account. Or, you never got your final paycheck from your last job.
In the vault beneath the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield sits $1.7 billion in cash, plus contents from Illinois bank safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned for at least five years.
"How could there be $121 million worth of property someone didn't know about, it's easy to understand that," Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford said. "As far as I'm concerned, a 21-percent increase in customer satisfaction because of the money we've returned is a good day."
From gold bars and old football cards, to valuable jewelry and priceless family photos, if it belongs to you, Rutherford wants you to have it back.
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